College Government Gavel Turns 100
Meet Joy Das '14, 2013-2014 College Government President and 100th Owner of the College Government Gavel
“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor,” reads the inscription on the mythical weapon Mjolnir in the Marvel universe. In the Wellesley universe, one worthy woman each year is entrusted with the responsibilities of being College Government President -- and with those responsibilities, the College Government gavel.
The current holder of the College Government gavel is Joy Das ‘14, the 2013-2014 College Government President (or CGP, as she’s known in Wellesley-speak). This is a particularly special year for the instrument of power because Das is the 100th owner of the gavel.
According to Das, the gavel was presented to the College Government Association in March 1914 following the burning of College Hall. Since then, it has been passed down from president to president. In its one hundred year history, wielders of the gavel have included Margaret Clapp ’30, who became president of Wellesley College, and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ’69.
“For me, being elected as College Government President is a huge honor, because it is a sign of everyone's confidence in me to represent the voice of the student body,” says Das.
As the chief student spokesperson, Das works closely with members of the administration and participates in meetings of the Board of Trustees to advocate student concerns in college decision-making. She chairs the meetings of Senate (this is where the gavel comes in handy!) which include representatives from different student groups on campus.
Das also leads her eight fellow elected members of College Government Cabinet, each of whom has a particular area of responsibility.This year, the team includes the Vice-President (Celine Hu '14), Chief Justice (Lily Elsner '14), Student Bursar (Maria Brusco '14), Director of On-Campus Affairs (Britt Saunders '14), Multicultural Affairs Coordinator (Safaya Fawzi '14), Chair of Communications and CG Finances (Anna Blige '16), Chair of Political and Legislative Awareness (Beth Feldstein '15), and the House President-College Government Liaison (Lauren Tonti '14).
Many students first get involved with College Government through their residence halls, each of which sends a representative to Senate.
“I remember that my first year, I was too shy to try for senator, so I never imagined that I would have this type of responsibility to the community,” says Das, who majors in mathematics. “The College Government Cabinet's motto for this year is to ‘go boldly where no CG has gone before,’ and I am really excited to work with the other leaders in Wellesley and with the College to do just that.”